Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gatsby Week: The Great Gatsby (1949)

I recently unearthed a copy of The Great Gatsby 1949 on YouTube of all places so I started to watch the movie. Unfortunately I only got half an hour into viewing the movie when I was interrupted by something and by the time I went back to watch the rest the video had been removed from YouTube. I have been trying to find another copy ever since but this movie remains elusive due to the copyright.

I did consider omitting this movie from my reviews but then I though I could at least review the part of the movie that I did see. The 1949 version of Gatsby is definitely a movie of its time There is a strong film noir gangster style to it and it is revealed very early on in the movie that Gatsby is in fact Jay Gatz a bootlegger. The film does not follow the story arch in the book very strongly and instead opens with Daisy and Nick at Gatsby's grave. The story then travels back to Gatsby buying his mansion in East Egg (Gatsby's mansion was of course in West Egg in the book) and planning extravagant refurbishments.

The film is peppered with a lot of 1920's cliches such as flappers and the Charleston and there are also a lot of gangster cliches thrown in for good measure.  Alan Lludd makes a charming but thuggish Gatsby and is not really suave or refined enough for the role. Having said that I saw the 1974 Robert Redford version before I have even read the book so it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role.

I didn't feel that Macdonald Carey was right for the role of Nick Carraway. He seemed to old and worldly for Nick whom I always imagine to be young and wide eyed.

Unfortunately this was about the limit of the opinions I formed on the film as I only saw the first 30 minutes. If anyone knows where I can get a copy of the film I would love to know!


  1. This is a great movie I bought it from the first site listed below. Thanks



    1. Oh thanks Patrick I will be sure to check them out!

  2. Jay Gatsby has never struck me as "suave". I've always felt that he was too insecure to be described in that manner.

    1. You're probably right suave is not the best work to describe Gatsby but I couldn't think of a better one